In the past two weeks, south-western cities of Iran – historically known as Arabistan (Khuzestan officially) – have been witnessing protests against water shortage.
People have already been suffering as a result of low water quality that has left the locals of cities such as Abadan, Muhammerah (Khorramshahr) and Bawi with little to consume.
Earlier this month the Iranian government announced that the farmers of Arabistan cannot grow rice due to the shortage of water. Other crops such as okra, which only needs watering once a week, was also included in the list of plants that Arab farmers were forbidden to cultivate this year.
The Islamic Republic of Iran has been transferring water from the south-western region to central plateau of Iran for years. The impetus for the transfer scheme is most notably for the development of a single city: Isfahan.
So far, 90 dams and several tunnels have been built by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) on Karun to provide water for agriculture and steel industry in Isfahan.
The Karun river in Ahwaz with 950 km in length is the most affluent and only navigable river in Iran. What rubs salt in the wound is that farmers in Isfahan are currently cultivating rice while water is cut on farmers in Ahwaz.